English Department

The Thomas Alleyne Academy English Department: fostering a lifelong love of English through innovative, inspirational and dynamic lessons and events.



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Year 9 Debate

In English this term, year 9 students have been honing their debating skills. They have been building on their speaking and listening skills and learning how to present arguments effectively. The whole year debate has now become an annual event and all staff were invited to watch the final.

On Wednesday 25th June, all of year 9 were involved with cross set debates. They were debating the topic: Beauty pageants should be brought to the UK?

The final consisted of Set 1b vs Set 2. The debate topic was 'Oscar Pistorious is receiving a fair trial'. Set 1b started the debate for the proposition. Their hard work and detailed research proved to be invaluable as they made a number of excellent points and despite set 2 injecting with challenges and rebuttals, set 1b held their own.

Set 2 as the opposition, were equally as well prepared, with Connor Eblett not only presenting a strong line of argument but handling challenges very well. Despite it being a difficult debate to judge, Set 1b finally took the lead and won on points. Well done to Mrs Crawford and her 'dream team'. 

Staff List

  • Ms V. Leahy - Head of English Department
  • Mr A Cox
  • Mrs M Cook
  • Mrs E O'Donnell
  • Ms A Hamboulides 
  • Mrs H Russell
  • Mr A Smith
  • Ms C Tyrwhitt
  • Mr J Posner


We are creating strong links with primary schools to improve consistency and moderate our assessment marking. We have already met with primary teachers this year to discuss how to challenge students, encouraging students to aim high.

Much Ado About Som'at

Our Year 12 Literature students had the opportunity to understand fully the conventions of comedy through a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, which they are studying as one of their coursework texts. The all female cast did a wonderful 80s version of the play, though still spoken in Shakespearean language. Afterwards students met and questioned the cast.


On Monday 3rd February the Celtic storyteller Jim MacCool came into school to deliver a session to our Year 7 students and some Year 6 students from Almond Hill. This celebrated National Storytelling week and inspired students to create their own narrative poems, which they are studying this half term. The morning was filled with songs, laughter and, of course, stories!

Gifted and Talented Provision

The English department runs a Gifted and Talented programme for students in Year 7-10. The top five achieving students are invited to join the sessions, which run once a week during form time.

Students are given the opportunity to work together on projects, which are designed to encourage creativity, independence, promoting deep learning and allowing students to broaden horizons beyond school into the wider learning communities. This term's project was to create and deliver interactive drama workshops to local primary schools- both Almond Hill and Woolenwick got involved.

This year, students have delivered creative writing sessions to local primary schools, as well as interactive drama workshops. Earlier in the year we welcomed author Mark Lowery to the school where he delivered a talk and run a writing workshop. We look forward to expanding the programme next year, with exciting plans that involve an author in residence - watch this space!

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